Having a small bedroom doesn’t mean having limited decor options. While it might be tricky to fill it with everything you’d like, a few design principles should ensure you can have a small room that still feels spacious. Here’s how you can free up some space when arranging a small bedroom, step-by-step.

Start with the bed.

When furnishing a small space, you must be careful about the order in which you arrange your items. Generally, you want to start big. Because your bed is the focal point of the room, find a place for that first. The bed is best left in the centre of the most visible wall, which is typically across the room from the door. If your room is unusually narrow, don’t feel bad about pushing it against the wall. This allows for more space on the open side of the bed for your other furnishings.

Then take care of other major furnishings.

Second, you’ll want to place your next-biggest pieces. For most people, this will be your dresser and/or bureau. A high-standing dresser is best for a small room because it takes advantage of extra vertical space. If your room is too small for a dresser, see if you can fit one inside the closet. Another big piece some might include in their bedroom is a desk. It’s unlikely this is possible for a very small room. But if you insist on having a place to sit and write or use a computer, consider a small writing desk that can double as a bedside table or nightstand.

Once your big pieces are squared away, you can fill the room with odds and ends.

Pay attention to colour.

Colour plays a big role in how we perceive what’s around us. Likewise, it will affect how you perceive the size of your bedroom. If you want it to appear larger, stick to lighter colours which open the space up. Alternatively, darker colours can add a sense of cosiness. Good dark colours to use for a small bedroom are shades of grey; you can then accent the room with colourful furnishings and carpeting.

Rug placement matters, too!

An area rug shouldn’t be too big when used in a small room. Be careful that it doesn’t overwhelm the space. Once you’ve found one at a good size, place it so there’s space to step on it while getting in and out of bed.

Some other quick tips for a small bedroom:

  • If you’re keeping a TV in a small bedroom, opt to hang it from the wall to save space.
  • If you have no space for a dresser and have a small closet, consider using a clothing rack. Not only a convenience, a clothing rack has a bit of a boho vibe.
  • If you’re really hurt for space, consider investing in furniture—like beds, benches and more—that double as storage spaces.